FA-50s to conduct overflights across Visayas, Mindanao

  • Country’s fighter jets to conduct flight missions across Visayas, Mindanao
  • PAF spokesman said overflights to serve as pilots’ training ground
  • He also said overflights to demonstrate PAF’s growing capabilities to public

MANILA, Philippines – If you hear a sonic boom in the coming days, don’t worry  —  it’s just the FA-50s passing by.

Locals in the Visayas — particularly in Mactan, Roxas, Iloilo, Bacolod and San Carlos City — will be treated to a sound not heard of for decades when the country’s supersonic fighter jets conduct overflight missions in the region.

After the Visayas, the jets will be flown over Mindanao.

According to Philippine Air Force spokesman Col. Antonio Franciso, the overflights will help train pilots and acquaint them with the country’s idiosyncratic features.

“The overflight missions will also serve as a great avenue to train pilots and allow them to be acquainted with various aspect of flight missions such as the country’s different terrains, weather and possible areas of interests,” Update Philippines quoted him as saying.

Franciso added that the overflights is also the PAF’s way of touting to the public its newly-acquired air assets.

“This is to show the general public that these new air assets are vital in strengthening the country’s territorial borders, and that the PAF has already reentered the supersonic era,” he said.

The country currently has 6 FA-50s in its arsenal, with another 6 expected to be delivered by defense contractor Korea Aerospace Industries this year.

Last January, the military confirmed using the jet fighters for bombing runs against the Abu Sayyaf and other terrorist groups in Mindanao.

“The FA-50 was not only for external or for ceremonial. It can be used also for internal security operations and this is a good justification for its procurement because it’s a very precise machine when used in combat,” AFP chief-of-staff General Eduardo Año said at the time.